Homeless in Vancouver: How one Fairview landlord is marking his territory

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      Any building you see in the Fairview neighbourhood that is waving a Union Jack flag, with or without Chinese-style lions, and/or boasting a white statue of an animal—say a bear or an elephant—is almost certainly owned by the same person.

      I can say this now that a polar bear statue has appeared in front of the Queen Elizabeth apartment building on the east side of Hemlock Street at 13th Avenue.

      The Queen Elizabeth, like another apartment building on Oak Street, has for some time been crowned with a flagpole flying the British flag along with two Chinese-style lions.

      If two’s company and three’s a crowd, then four must be…

      When large white animal statues recently appeared in front of two other Fairview apartment buildings, it seemed fair to say the statues were a mark that both buildings had the same owner. Same with the ceramic lions and Union Jack flags—probably the mark of one owner.

      Turns out all four building are owned by the same person.

      This was confirmed to me by a handyman working on the Queen Elizabeth property.

      The poor fellow was there doing a casual labour gig (“I’m just a guy from Cash Corner“) and wasn’t even allowed a five minute break to grab a coffee.

      Personaly moved by his plight, I went the distance (three-and-a-half blocks) to the Mac’s convenience store at Hemlock Street and West Broadway Avenue to get him a coffee (“extra-large with three squirts of hazelnut Creamo please”)—no one should be denied the magic of coffee!

      The Mac’s takeaway lid seem to actually incite coffee to leak out of the cup in a dozen different ways. Adding that to the fact I was transporting the coffee by bicycle—I think I did good delivering about 85 percent of the coffee to him.

      To recap: four buildings, one owner. One subset of three of the building are flying Union Jack flags. Another subset of three now feature sculptures and two of the four are decorated with Chinese-style lions. The Oak Street apartment building has no front yard to speak of and nowhere to put a statue, save on the roof, where it already sports an additional beaverlike sculpture

      For the sake of clarity, I have prepared a simple Venn relationship diagram:

      The statues, by the way, all come from a company somewhere in Burnaby.

      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer.